Originally posted by DaveG1:
If the leather on my upper dash is fake, I'll eat my hat. (It's a 2001)
I hope that you like the taste of your hat!
For 2001, the upper door caps and dash are covered in synthetic leather for the Luxury interior. For the sport interior, these pieces are injection-molded plastic.
For 2000, All-Leather was a no-cost option in the USA for both the Sport and Exclusive (now identified as "Luxury" for 2001) interiors (apparently this option costs thousands of dollars for our European friends). These 2000 All-Leather interiors have real leather dashes, upper door caps, door panels, interior door handles/pulls/armrests, center consoles, lower dash, glove-box doors, etc. In addition, all of the leather on the 2000 All-Leather Exclusive interior is the softer and more-supple Nappa Heritage leather (except the upper dash and upper door caps which are standard Nappa).
The differences in the 2000 All-Leather vs. the Extended (read less) Leather interiors are especially apparent on a non-Black Exclusive interior. For instance, my 2000 Exclusive All-Leather Caramel interior is essentially All-Caramel (except for the upper dash surface and upper door caps). Even the speaker grilles are matched Caramel. One day, I saw an 2000 M5 Imola Red M5 with an Exclusive Extended Leather Caramel interior, and the differences were readily apparent. Where the lower dash, glove-box door and entire console on mine are all covered in Caramel Nappa Heritage leather, the Extended Leather counterpart had Black injection-molded (i.e. "bare black") center console, lower dash, interior door handles/pulls/armests, glove-box door (in addition to the injection-molded upper dash and upper door caps). All of that black injection-molded plastic makes for way too much contrast with a color like Caramel, which in my opinion makes for a cheaper, less cohesive, consistent, and uniform look. The only thing that has to be sacrficed for this richer looking, feeling and smelling All-Leather interior is the inability to combine it with rear and side-window sun shades (a small price to pay IMHO). For me, it was no-brainer to spec. my car out with this no-cost (at least in the USA) All-Leather trim, something which costs something like $6,000 -7,000 in the non-North American markets.
BTW, the Alcantara headliner is now standard in 2001 on both the Sport and Luxury interiors. In 2001, the velour headliner was standard on both of the Extended (read less) Leather interiors (i.e. Sport and Exclusive), with Alcantara being a no-cost option for both of these scenarios. In 2000, Alcantara was standard-issue for both the All-Leather Sport and Exclusive interiors.
I use a windshield sunsceen to help make my leather dash live as long as possible. I think that BMW probably decided to cover the dashes on the 2001 Luxury interiors (which for 2001 is the only one offered in All-Leather -- the 2001 Sport interior is trimmed only in Extended (read less) Leather) in synthetic leather due to having to replace under warranty too many genuine leather upper dashes, due to leather drying, shrinkage and warpage problems. I assume that the reason that the upper door caps are now also synthetic leather is because they flow from, and are a "continium" of, the upper dash, and both should thus be of the same material (remember, the 2000 All-Leather Exclusive interiors have Nappa upper dashes and upper door caps, with the balance of the interior surfaces covered in Nappa Heritage).
[This message has been edited by HadE55NowM5 (edited 03 March 2001).]